Saturday, October 4, 2014


(1) For daily updates on happenings within the 17 agencies comprising the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), scroll down right margin to "U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS- click agency below". Click agency and all daily newspaper, magazine and recent journal publications appear.
(2) For daily updates on happenings in Foreign spy services, scroll down the right margin to "FOREIGN SPY SERVICE HAPPENINGS". Click spy agency and all daily newspaper, magazine and recent journal publications appear.

(3) Search TOPIC SEARCH in the upper right hand margin and type in your topic of interest. All relevant posts will appear.
(4) Click HERE and go to the TABLE OF CONTENTS to search through a list of hundreds of articles organized in a chronological sequence, find your article of interest, then click and the article appears.
(5) Go to ARTICLE ARCHIVES in the upper right hand margin and click a date. All articles written on that date will appear
Note: We appreciate questions, comments and feedback. Please contact OSINT News on the Secure Contact Form.

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Friday, October 3, 2014


Intelligence agencies
     FOREIGN SPY AGENCY HAPPENINGS! is a worthwhile resource for professionals working within the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) as well as for authors of spy thriller novels, terrorism and counterterrorism scholars, journalists and serious spy buffs. Simply scroll down the right margin to it, then click on any one of the spy agencies listed. Daily newspaper and magazine articles along with recent journal writings about the agency appear.
     The number of foreign intelligence services increases as we add to Foreign Spy Agency Happenings! each day. We try to focus on the foreign intelligence branches of each country, not on their security intelligence sections. It is difficult to do, because they often overlap or are integrated together. Security intelligence focuses on domestic threats, such as homegrown terrorism and espionage. The foreign intelligence sections are involved in information-gathering (spying) on foreign governments to obtain classified political, economic, military and technology secrets.

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     Some of these agencies have been involved in assassinations, arms trafficking, an occasional coups d'├ętat and other covert operations. For the most part, in democratic societies, their actions are geared to protect the citizenry from harm by employing analysts and by sending trained undercover agents abroad to search for threats and to give early warnings of impending threats to the homeland.
     All spy agencies, when necessary, spy on each other. However, the U.S., England and Canada have an agreement not to. They spend much energy and resources spying upon their perceived enemies to ferret out possible cruel intentions and report them to policy-makers so these nefarious plots can be acted upon preemptively.
     Not surprisingly, much of the intelligence gathered concerns the military capabilities of foreign adversaries. They also engage in counterintelligence to defend their nation against the efforts of foreign spy services to steal classified documents and valuable technological secrets.
     I hope you find the FOREIGN SPY AGENCY HAPPENINGS! resource in the right margin helpful in your pursuits. Feel free to let us know on the Secure Contact Form.

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Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and publishes the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean". His views are his own and do not represent those of any agency he is a member of. We welcome comments and suggestions! Contact OSINT News on the Secure Contact Form.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


17 Agencies comprise the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC)
"U.S. Intelligence Community Happenings!"- OSINT News provides this service. Simply scroll down the right margin until you reach it, then click on any one of the 17 agencies listed. Instantly, recently published newspaper, magazine and journal articles about the agency of your choice appears. Enjoy!

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and publishes the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean". His views are his own and do not represent those of any agency he is a member of. We welcome comments and suggestions! Contact OSINT News on the Secure Contact Form.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Fill in your email address and write "OSINT NEWSLETTER" in the Message box. Your email address is secured and not shared. The newsletter containing happenings within the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) will be emailed to you the beginning of each month. Thank you! foxyform

Monday, September 29, 2014


Why was the U.S. caught off-guard by the rapid ISIS gains in Iraq and Syria? (Comments welcome) free polls
     President Obama is, apparently, incorrect for blaming the unforeseen rapid rise in ISIS power on the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). In fact, the IC did see it coming long ago, and sent out red flares that were ignored by both President Obama and the congress. This is why America's intelligence operatives, national security scholars, and journalists who have been watching the progress of ISIS question the president's assertion.
     One senior Pentagon official, who had been studying the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria, flatly said, "Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting, or he’s bullshitting."

     President Obama's assessment threw James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, under the bus for allegedly "underestimating" the threat posed by the Islamic State militant group. And, this isn't the first time it's happened in the presidential "Blame-Game", for former CIA Director Michael Morell said recently on "CBS This Morning" that President Barack Obama was wrong in claiming (several weeks ago) that bad intelligence was the reason his administration did not anticipate the speed in which ISIS would capture large portions of Iraq.
    CBS's Norah O'Donnell then asked Morell, "The president himself admitted over the weekend that this Islamist State militants advance is more rapid than intelligence estimates. Was this an intelligence failure or a policy failure?"

     Morell replied, "I don't think this was an intelligence failure. This is a classic problem in the intelligence world. There's a difference between strategic warning and tactical warning. There was strategic warning here in the sense that the Intelligence Community was saying for over a year, year and a half, two years that this group was getting stronger and stronger and stronger."
     The Obama administration, indeed, was surprised and taken off guard by the recent offensive in Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terrorist group. But why? He claims it's because of a failure by U.S. intelligence agencies to provide adequate warning about the ISIS threat.  
     Shortly after that presidential declaration, some in the (IC) said the main reason for the disconnect is because of the weak HUMINT (human intelligence) in Iraq and an over-reliance on technical intelligence. However, Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said that the Iraq crisis is a policy and not an intelligence failure. He mentioned there were signs of the ISIS threat, but President Obama ignored them.
     In fact, Rogers said that years ago he was concerned about ISIS and how it was "pooling up" in a dangerous way — building training camps, drawing in jihadists from around the world. As chairman of the House Intel Committee, he said "We saw all of that happening."
    Fred Fleitz, who served for 25 years with the CIA, the State Department, and the House Intelligence Committee staff, agreed with Congressman Rogers. Fleitz said there was tons of info on the news about the sectarian war brewing in Iraq and that ISIS was gaining strength in both Iraq and Syria. The IC provided similar assessments to U.S. officials based on classified information.

Become us or die
     Then, it happened. Last December ISIS seized control of Fallujah and parts of the city of Ramadi, and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn issued a public warning about the significance of this development in February when he testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said "ISIS will attempt to take territory in Iraq and Syria to exhibit its strength in 2014, as demonstrated recently in Ramadi and Fallujah, and the group’s ability to concurrently maintain multiple safe havens in Syria.”
   Fleitz pointed out Flynn's testimony and warning, saying  it demonstrates, indeed, that a top U.S. intelligence official was doing his job and beltway officials and policy makers, including the president, were warned about ISIS and the major global security threats it poses. He added that "Some have claimed U.S. intelligence analysis about ISIS could have been better and that we lack enough human intelligence sources on the ground in Iraq. Even Secretary of State John Kerry claimed nobody expected ISIS to advance so rapidly against Iraqi forces because we don’t have people embedded in those units." Kerry presumably meant the CIA did not have sources within ISIS.
      Fleitz gave experiential evidence why this is so and why Kerry may be partially correct: "...gathering credible 
intelligence in dangerous areas like Iraq and Syria is always limited because there's no U.S. troop presence, high levels of anti-Americanism, and tight-knit Islamist terrorist groups (like ISIS) that are extremely difficult for the CIA to penetrate."
     Fleitz believes that the entire crisis in Iraq and Syria, and the rising power of ISIS is a major U.S. policy failure due to President Obama not leaving a small troop presence behind after the 2011 troop withdrawal and his continual ignoring of the grave threat posed by radical Islam. He believes the President was given excellent analysis about ISIS and the deteriorating situation in Iraq...but he ignored it.
Note: What do you think? Please take the quick POLL at the top of this post and leave a comment if you like. Comments are always welcome on OSINT News polls.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Monday, September 15, 2014


     The Effects of the Internet, Social Media and Open Source Data on Intelligence Analysis is the theme for an October 2014 seminar sponsored by the National Cryptologic Museum.  I will be there gathering information on this topic for my online spy series- "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".
     A senior officer in the FBI Cyber Division, Mr. Roozbeh, will discuss this topic from the domestic perspective and Mr. Martin Petersen, a former senior officer in the CIA Intelligence and Analysis Directorate, will present views from the foreign intelligence perspective.
     The Edward Snowden leak will be discussed as well. Mr. John C. Inglis, the Robert L. Looker Chair for Cyber Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy and former Deputy Director of NSA will discuss the aftermath of Snowden's disclosures. I wrote an article about the Snowden affair, entitled "Snowden Justifies Outsourcing Domestic Surveillance to China", and will very interested in what they have to say.
     The National Cryptologic Museum (NCM) is located next to the National Security Agency (NSA) in Fort Meade, Maryland and is the NSA's gateway to the American public; it shares its cryptologic legacy and place in history, allowing the public to view thousands of priceless code-breaking and code- making artifacts, like the original enigma code-breaking machine.
National Security Agency (NSA)

     The effects of open source data on intelligence analysis was written about by Robert  David Steele in his article "Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)". He believes that the secret intelligence communities are blinded because they operate from the inside-out, due to their historical prejudice against OSINT. They collect data to answer critical questions that policy makers want answers to immediately. Steele says the IC intel-gatherers start with unilaterally collected secrets, rather than beginning with what they can learn from the outside-in. He also states they are upside down because they rely too much on expensive overhead satellite systems, instead of from bottom-up ground truth networks of humans with deep historical, cultural, and localized knowledge.
     Steele's article was written a while back and I believe attitudes are changing- the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) is utilizing OSINT to a greater degree. Steele anticipates that OSINT will displace 80% of the current manpower and dollars devoted to secret sources & methods.  We shall see!

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 Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Monday, September 8, 2014


"DRONES, Special ops...and 15 minutes." This is a dream I had, which will quickly become a reality.
      In a fast-moving war with an elusive foe like the Islamic State militants, instant information is as important as guns, jet fighters and bombs. Sometime early this summer, U.S. Special Operations Forces launched a clandestine raid into Syria in an effort to rescue several American hostages being held by the group. Unfortunately, one was the American journalist who was beheaded.      
     But the commandos’ information was out of date by hours; ISIS had moved the captives from the target zone. The U.S. Special Ops hit the place like a lightning bolt (undisclosed methods of approach) and engaged ISIS warriors in a horrific gun battle that ended with one Navy Seal slightly wounded and seven ISIS militants visiting 72 Virgins (or is it "Virginians"?) in the afterlife. The Special Ops team was ex-filtrated from the target area as quickly as they arrived after discovering the journalist and other Americans had been moved.
      The attempted rescue, which the Obama administration revealed one day after a graphic video was posted depicting an Islamic State member beheading kidnapped American journalist James Foley, underscores the importance of timely intelligence-action. The Pentagon’s escalating campaign against Islamic State fighters in Iraq depends completely on fast intelligence gathering and dissemination, followed almost instantly with lightening strikes by drones and special ops units, overhead jet fighter aircraft for support, and spy planes equipped with ECM's- electronic counter measures that block the enemy's communications, leaving them blind and unable to call for backup. It's begun and ended in less than a half hour, then we vanish. No more large-scale armored Marine divisions or prolonged, costly occupations.
      Welcome to the new war against radical Islam, which several intelligence professionals I talked to estimate will last  longer than the Cold War. 

     Fifteen minutes is the time-limit goal the Pentagon and CIA needs to set between the instant when critical intelligence is uncovered by surveillance drones, satellites or human agents on the ground (HUMINT)...and when a lightning bolt strike attack to capture or kill a radical Islamist leader or to save kidnapped Americans occurs. Fifteen minutes should be the goal...the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee in the morning. 
     Actually, this time-line goal is becoming a reality. An instant target acquisition -lightning bolt response- exfiltration operation will be the standard for America's new asymmetric warfare response to radical Islam, and it will be operational soon. I wish it already were in place, for early this summer James Foley and the other Americans would have been jettisoned out of Syria in the arms of Navy Seals and the Special Operations units.
      President Obama's speech will be interesting to hear Wednesday night (9/11/14), for he will surely announce airstrikes into Syria against the Islamic State. Americans won't hear, however, what's being discussed behind closed doors at the CIA and Pentagon. It's a certainty that they're detailing plans to "capture or kill" Abu al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and they will locate him via satellite and drone surveillance, HUMINT, ELINT and IMINT.
      After Obama's speech on Wednesday night, I'd advise al-Baghdadi to switch his location each day and night...every fifteen minutes. 

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form